by Jennifer Poindexter
Do you have a favorite flower? I have many but one of my favorites is the marigold. It possesses beauty and functionality. These are important qualities in my book.
Marigolds are great for keeping pests out of your garden and also at adding a dash of color to your home or garden area. If you’d love to try growing these flowers, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my top tips when raising marigolds around my home.
1. Pick the Right Location
Marigolds are sun-loving flowers. Keep this in mind when deciding where you should plant them around your home.
They must be planted where they’ll receive a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day. If you desire gorgeous blooms, supply the flowers with an adequate amount of light.
Aside from choosing the right location for lighting reasons, you must also pay attention to your planting zone. Marigolds thrive in zones three through eleven. If you live in these zones and can supply sunlight, you may have a friend in marigolds.
2. Marigolds Need the Right Soil
Every plant needs the right soil to grow properly. Marigolds have a couple of requirements for creating the right growing environment.
The soil must be well-draining and sandy. This ensures the water drains away from the plant, quickly, to avoid the marigolds living in soggy conditions.
Be sure to amend your soil, as needed, prior to planting marigolds. The soil should also be loosened approximately a half foot beneath where you’re intending to plant. If you start marigolds in the wrong setting, you might not receive positive results.
3. Plant Marigolds at the Right Time
Like everything, there’s a proper time for planting marigolds. These flowers don’t like frost. To ensure they don’t experience this threat, wait until spring to plant.
You should wait until all threat of frost is over before planting. You can plant seedlings, at this time. However, most gardeners sow marigolds directly into the soil as they only take approximately two months to begin blooming.
In general, marigold seeds won’t begin the germination process until the soil is 70-degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Take all of this into consideration when deciding when is the proper time to begin growing marigolds in your planting zone.
4. Provide Adequate Amounts of Water
Is it surprising that marigolds need water? If you have much experience in gardening, it shouldn’t be. Everything needs water to survive.
Marigolds should be watered deeply. Therefore, you’ll apply water for longer periods of time, fewer days of the week.
When the soil has dried fully, you can apply more water. Insert your finger into the soil, next to the plant, and if it’s dry to your second knuckle, it’s time to deep water the marigolds again.
If possible, don’t water marigolds from overhead. This could keep the foliage wet for prolonged periods and encourage disease.
Therefore, it’s better to water the marigolds, from beneath, using soaker hoses. Anything you can do to protect your plants, is worth it for the gorgeous scenery you get in return.
5. Pinch Their Head Off
This might sound violent, but I promise it isn’t. As marigolds begin to form small buds, cut the top of the plants off.
It might sound odd, but it will cause the plants to continue growing. When doing this, you’ll create bushier marigolds.
You should also deadhead your marigolds. This will encourage them to bloom for a longer period of time.
Deadheading and pruning turns back the clock on the plants. It makes them think they’re young again which prolongs the bloom cycle. If you want full and vibrant marigolds, consider these tips to help them achieve these goals.
6. Don’t Limit the Growing Possibilities
When you think of marigolds, do you think of them growing in a certain setting? When I was younger, my grandmother always raised them in a small inground garden plot.
As I got older, I began planting them in my vegetable garden to provide protection for my crops. I’ve now begun growing them in a raised bed as well.
Don’t limit where your marigolds can grow. They’re wonderful for containers and many varieties of beds. If you need a versatile flower, this could be the one for you.
7. Don’t Ignore Pests and Diseases
The scent of the marigold is what keeps many pests out of your garden. However, they are still open to becoming infested with certain diseases.
One disease marigolds might form is powdery mildew. If the flowers are planted too thickly, there might not be enough airflow around them.
This can also occur if they are overwatered. If you notice powdery mildew impacting your marigolds, thin them out, hold off on the watering sessions, and apply a fungicide to cure this disease.
Stay on top of things which might harm your flowers. This will keep them healthy and aesthetically pleasing for a longer amount of time.
8. Don’t Fertilize
Don’t fertilize marigolds. Does this sound odd? Many types of flowers require a great deal of nutrients to stay young, healthy, and to produce vibrant blooms.
Marigolds, however, aren’t one of them. You should plant them in quality soil which contains nutrients, but this is all they’ll need.
If you supply more fertilizer to your plants, it could harm them. Marigolds which receive too much nitrogen will have lush foliage and no blooms. Keep this in mind, when you’re tempted to apply fertilizer to your marigolds.
9. Don’t Skip the Mulch
Mulch is for much more than looks. It can help your marigolds pop from the contrast in the colors of the mulch and the blooms.
However, it’s also great for helping with moisture and weeds. A layer of mulch will help hold in water surrounding the plants. This can reduce the amount of watering sessions the flowers require.
Mulch is wonderful for keeping weeds away, too. You shouldn’t have to weed as much when applying a barrier of mulch around your flowers.
Keep in mind, mulch may encourage fungal diseases to form, if your marigolds are extra bushy. Pay close attention to this potential threat.
If you notice fungal diseases forming at the base of your marigolds, reduce the amount of mulch near the stems. This can help increase airflow and protect the overall health of your plants.
10. Remove Marigolds at the End of the Season
Marigolds are annual flowers. I have tried my hand at attempting to get them to rebloom from year to year. Unfortunately, it hasn’t worked.
One year, I allowed the seeds to resow directly in the bed where I plant marigolds every year. I covered them with mulch to protect them overwinter, but they didn’t return.
Instead, when the season is finished, you should allow your marigold blooms to dry. When dry, you can remove the seeds and store them in an airtight container. You’ll need to replant them, but you won’t have to purchase any seeds the following year.
If you aren’t interested in saving seeds, wait until your old marigolds have finished blooming. Once the bloom cycle is complete, remove them from the bed or container, and throw them away. This will deter pests and diseases from overwintering in your marigold beds.
This concludes our tips for growing marigolds. They’re an easy flower to care for and grow every year. Plus, they add a fun pop of color to your yard or garden area.
When searching for a colorful, useful, and low-maintenance flower, don’t overlook marigolds. You might miss out on a special addition to your growing space.